To be honest, after recruiting a dozen of the best editors and proofreaders to our team here at BookButchers, I rarely do editing myself, even though for the past few years I’ve been obsessed with the craft of writing and how to make it easier for new authors.
But I do still enjoy the popular $297 first chapter critiques that I do myself – it’s a quick way to figure out why you’re losing readers, whether your intro ticks all the right boxes and is appealing and satisfying. And I’ve also been keeping busy with a handful of ghostwriting projects and clients, where I can make big changes and help build up a messy rough draft into something professional and marketable.
However, I’ve come to discover a lot of our competition is offering a “manuscript critique” service, which is basically one round of passive developmental editing and a 10~15 page report that helps you identify and fix the biggest issues in style and structure, while gaining confidence about your manuscript and publishing opportunities.
Since I charge $297 for 5000 words, $2997 for a 50K manuscript makes sense as a default price. That’s in line with what others are charging, but few have a PhD in Literature, 25 published books, and 3 million views on my writing resources.
But since this is a newish service and I want to test it out and get feedback I can use later, I’m going to hesitantly put out this offer: I’m looking for 10 people who need some help, support, or coaching – maybe who have a book idea or a rough outline, or a finished manuscript that isn’t performing well.
Anybody who is feeling stuck or has lost momentum; with a great idea that they are having trouble executing. If this is you, here’s a one-time Black Friday offer that will probably sell out the moment I announce it to my list…
- $997 manuscript critique – 65k
- $1997 manuscript critique – 130K
What you get: Normally I’d read through your entire manuscript and make hundreds of detailed comments and suggestions. And that’s valuable, but it can feel overwhelming, and we want to focus on the biggest areas of improvement with a very clear path towards improvement.
I can spot typos, missing words and formatting or punctuation errors as well as anyone, but where I truly shine is figuring out the heart of your story, the most impactful way to reveal the dramatic bits, and suggest tweaks and plot and character developments that will make everything tighter and more emotionally impactful.
I don’t have a cool name for this service yet, but I think it’s a lot more than a standard manuscript critique or review. This is an overview or evaluation, not a detailed edit or proofread, though I will of course point out some common issues or problems. The main reason this service is different, is that I can actually suggest how to fix things and make your book much stronger.
It’s like an organ transplant, maybe… or CPR. Your book has all the right pieces, but it’s not breathing. We’ll shock it with ten thousand volts of electricity and see if it can stand on its own two feet.
How to choose an editor?
I could be a lot better about presenting myself professionally to convince you to trust me. I’m not going to do that here, because this is a limited time deal and I don’t think I’ll need to work that hard to sell these 10 slots to my email list of 70,000 authors. My availability is extremely limited and I rarely do this kind of structural, comprehensive editing anymore… though I do appreciate the appeal of a focused and limited amount of feedback rather than my normal work process of tedious, time-consuming, pedantic commentary.
But I will say this: Few editors offer any type of refund policy or guarantee, because that puts them at risk after they’ve already done all the work. The Book Butchers is one of the few editing companies with an iron-clad refund policy, which means we often work out of pocket, for free, or lose money on projects. It doesn’t happen often, and it’s usually a breakdown in communication or expectations (it’s a reflection on how busy we get, but never on our skill or quality of service).
What if my book isn’t finished?
Here’s the good news: I’m actually pretty busy through the end of 2022, and you probably are, too. But you can use this deal anytime in the next 3 years. That gives us plenty of time to get organized, and you can cash in and redeem your discount (the service you already paid for) even if I’m charging much higher prices for the same service. If you’re an author, you probably need or have considered this kind of manuscript assessment before. This is your chance to get a good deal and great service, and it’s 100% risk free.
Do I get a coaching call?
Alright, this one makes me sweat a little. I’m an introvert with a sleep disorder so scheduling coaching calls is absolutely not my favorite thing. But I also know it can be a fun, personal value-add and sometimes you just need to talk through your book ideas out loud to resolve them yourself or make new discoveries.
So for black friday 2022, I’m offering a 30-minute coaching call for my $297 first chapter critique service, and TWO 30-minute calls for the longer editorial manuscript review (one before, one after).
This will require me to get organized and have a calendar setup, which is a frightening task for me, but I am pretty great about talking through craft and plot bunnies and stuff – if you’ve watched my youtube channel you know I can cram a ton of useful content in 30 minutes because I talk fast.
I’ve previously charged $500 for an hour of coaching, so to get the 5000 words of critique + 30 minutes of my time for $297 is a pretty good deal. And getting a full book critique for $997 with two coaching calls… insane. But you’re worth it and I’m stretching out my comfort zone. I’m pretty sure it’s not something I’ll offer again.
Commercial Analysis and Marketing Review
Is this book editing or proofreading?
Neither, actually – there are some newer tools for proofreading, and although it’s very tedious and time-consuming, it’s not a high value skill. It’s important, sure, your book should be clean! But fixing the typos won’t actually make it better.
Copy editing or line editing usually helps revise and rewrite a little, but not too much. It makes it better by removing flaws, mistakes, redundancies, errors or weak writing.
We do off those services in our normal packages – but we charge $0.06/word to do all that and offer deep, insightful editorial critique and comments in our “Perfect Murder” package. But some authors won’t the heavy stuff and not the light stuff, and we haven’t had a service for that yet, so this is us trying something new.
As I mentioned, a lot of editors offer this service already, and since there are newer tools to proofread and edit, we’re going to focus on this direction: the high value, high skill feedback on your actual story, so you can make it better. We can do this at the beginning, if you’re still planning and plotting; or at the end, when you have a pile of notes and a rough manuscript but you know it just isn’t working, or ready to publish.
Pricing details for the manuscript critique service
I’m pretty flexible, so round up or down. Most people charge by 50K or 100K, but I know that most manuscripts are in between or above (mine are typically 75K or 130K).
65K should be about enough for a rough draft that needs fleshing out.
130K is probably a little full of bloat that needs trimming or reducing.
I can help with either. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out by email, but keep in mind by the time I reply back to you, these spots might be gone already.
BONUSES! (Literary services)
I’m still insecure about doing the coaching calls I offered up above, so I’m giving you an option. Sometimes, it’s great to talk with someone and bounce ideas around. You can learn a ton in 30 minutes of 1-on-1 with me. I’m offering it because I think you might want it. And technically it’s less work for me (it’s just talking about stuff I know about).
But I’m reluctant because I feel like I can get faster results for you by just doing the work myself – which is a chronic problem I have; trying to take over and control everything. But I’m adding this info here, as something you can trade your coaching slots for, if you (like me) are an introvert who doesn’t really want to chat anyway, or you’re a busy extrovert who is short on time and needs a marketing expert to just hone up your sales copy so you can sell more books… I’ve got you.
Our literary services are meant to help you quickly fix core issues in your book that could kill its success. Don’t overspend on editors who will polish the story you have, without first considering your book’s commercial potential. If you want to get a head start on your book marketing and ensure the ultimate success of your project, we recommend starting with these literary services before you hire one of our professional editors to go deeper.
Market Analysis and Metadata optimization
Make it easy for readers to find you! We’ll identify the right market for your book, and suggest the keywords and categories to help readers find your books online. SEO experts will help position so that it gets discovered organically on Amazon or Google.
Blurb Revision and Amazon Page
We’ll help make sure you correctly categorize your book and choose the right keywords, but getting found isn’t enough. You need a blurb that actually sells the book. We’ll rewrite the blurb to balance the fine line between discoverability and intrigue. We’ll also help you create 3 brilliant “hooks” you can test in your marketing or sales copy.
Author Platform Assistance
Before saying yes to your book, agents and publishers are going to review your author website and social media profiles, to make sure you’ve put some effort into building a platform and developing a relationship with their readers.
If you’re self-publishing, your platform will be even more important, because success will depend on cultivating fans and connecting with other authors in your genre. You’ll need to build a list of beta-readers to get reviews on your book quickly, or your book will be dead on arrival.
We’ve built several online courses on building an author platform, setting up your website and email list, getting social media followers quickly, and how to communicate with your fans. But we also have an “Author Platform Audit” service I’ll add here – basically I’ll make a short review video going over your whole platform, point out some quick wins or red flags, so you can take action before you run into problems or waste money on a failed book launch (if your book doesn’t convert the right audience into buyers and readers).